(Moved to

Remaking Destiny
Who am I? Where do I belong? Who determines my future? Society has no
answer to these restless questions. Our sense of identity, kinship
and community, are at worst shattered by the experience of migration
and at best are thrown into uncertainty.

The universal declaration of human rights  talks of a world "without
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status". The reality, particularly for the
economic migrant, is very different.

Physical, emotional, social and intellectual exclusion reinforce a
migrant's sense of displacement and alienation. The powerful may
glide over such barriers, touching down for business, for pleasure or
even out of guilt. For those without power, parting is painful, and
each barrier crossed, like the ferry ghats of the big rivers,
broadens the distance they must travel to return.

Expectations, dreams, duties and needs circumscribe the life of an
economic migrant. The single hope, to change one's destiny, is what
ties all migrants together, whether they be the Bangladeshis who work
in the forests of Malaysia, the bonded labourers in the sugarcane
plantations in India, the construction workers in the Middle East or
the hopeful thousands bound for the promised lands of Europe and
North America. They see migration not merely as a means to economic
freedom, but also as a passport for social mobility. The wealthy can
purchase the future they desire. But a migrant who chooses to rewrite
an inherited destiny swims against the current and faces the wrath of
the gatekeepers who shape that destiny.
Shahidul Alam
Fri Jul 18, 2003

July 18, 2003 - Posted by | Bangladesh, Global Issues | , , , , ,

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